Cramming facts into a memory bank is not conducive to easy absorption or future retrieval for the brain. Without organization, learned information can become meaningless, boring, and easily forgotten. It is imperative that students utilize study techniques that will effectively aide the brain in processing and grouping together learned information in a retrievable format. Students with proper study skills will recall facts more quickly and accurately and will subsequently have an easier time taking tests or organizing a paper.
Pairing intuitive learning techniques with a student’s natural creativity is just one of the reasons why SuperCamp remains a leader in academic summer camps around the world. Students, ranging from grades 4 through 12, will leave camp armed with a repertoire of critical learning and life skills necessary for success in their academic career. Bridging the gap between course work and student will be remarkably easier when they are equipped with a wide range of study skills and advantageous techniques that cater specifically to their learning style.
Mind Mapping, a method developed by Tony Buzan in the 1960’s, allows students to actively learn through the use of colorful pictures and word associations. It creatively personalizes information in a unique way that also engages the left and right side of the brain simultaneously. This technique can be used by anyone who needs to prepare for an exam, write a book report, plan an event, or tackle a challenging problem.
How does Mind Mapping work? The first step is to turn your page horizontally and give yourself plenty of room to spread outwards. In the center of the page, write or draw something that represents the main idea; it will work best if you include both words and a sketch for maximum retention and comprehension. To help exemplify this, consider the life cycle of a plant. A picture of a plant corresponding with the words allows the brain to quickly associate and visualize content. Draw tapering branches stemming from the main idea using at least three separate colors and write a clarifying point along each of the branches’ length: how a seed germinates, how plants gain nutrients, the process of photosynthesis, and pollination. Be sure to include pictures wherever possible.
Color in Mind Mapping stimulates the imaginative portion of the brain and captures-and holds-attention. Pairing a word with a corresponding picture helps the brain form associations that can be easily recalled later. Every Mind Map should be unique in shape and construction. Some will include many larger branching points with few details, while other, more complicated topics will fill the page with supporting details surrounding the central idea. The more unique the Mind Map, the easier the information will be to retain!
Laying strong groundwork at an early age is extremely important for a student when developing their study skills. A student able to manipulate content in a mentally stimulating way will be more excited about learning and can consequently set a trend for the rest of their lives. SuperCamp graduate, James Ohnoki, felt Mind Mapping was a major turning point in his academic career. He became a more interactive learner as a result and used the technique many times to help him connect visual elements to learned content. He particularly enjoyed the drawing and coloring aspects of Mind Mapping because it gave him license to be as creative as he wanted.
Students like James Ohnoki will be astonished at how effective the learning techniques they develop at SuperCamp will transform their study habits and turn them into interactive learners. It will bridge the gap between their coursework and comprehension, and start them down the road toward academic success. With learning techniques like Mind Mapping at their disposal, students will find the way to success is remarkably less difficult to traverse.
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